What is worst loss by eventual NCAA basketball champ?

(AP photo)

This post has been updated here.

With North Carolina losing 90-57 at Florida State on Saturday, an  e-mailer wanted to know what is the largest loss, by way of point margin, by a team that went on to be the eventual NCAA Tournament champion?

Sports Reference/College Basketball is a great resource, but  it’s hard to find game-by-game results for teams prior to 1979.

From my research, dating back to 1980, the largest I could find was the 1993 North Carolina team that lost by 26 points, 88-62, at Wake Forest on Jan. 30 that season. (The next game, the Tar Heels lost 81-67 at Duke.) The 1985 Villanova team, which beat Georgetown in the NCAA final at Rupp Arena, lost by 23 points,  85-62, to Pittsburgh at the end of the regular season that year. The 1991 Duke team lost by 22 points, 96-74, to Duke North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. The 2002 Maryland team lost by 21 points, 99-78, at Duke.

If you can find the answer, let me know.

I put together a chart of the worst loss by each NCAA champion dating back to the 1980 Louisville Cardinals.

 

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Comments

  1. nick says:

    Your chart is off even for the 2011 UCONN team…
    It says their worst loss was by 15 against Pitt, but what about Feb 10, 2011 @ St John’s– they lost 89-72, a 17 point loss.

  2. John Clay says:

    Nick, you are correct. I’ve corrected the chart. And I’ll blame it on fact UConn had so many losses. Hard to keep them all straight. If anyone sees any other corrections, let me know. Thanks, Nick.

  3. Dave says:

    1978 Kentucky lost by 16 to Alabama 78-62

  4. Gary C says:

    Good job John!

  5. [...] On the blog, we looked at the biggest losses by eventual NCAA basketball champion. [...]

  6. Gary says:

    From your 3rd paragraph: “The 1991 Duke team lost by 22 points, 96-74, to Duke in the ACC Tournament.”….how did they do that? I know ESPN likes to show Duke a lot on TV, but having them play themselves is a little much.

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  8. [...] of Florida State.  I guess you can cancel that 2012 NCAA trophy celebration in Chapael Hill now.  John Clay did some research and found that the worst loss by an eventual NCAA champion during the regular season was 26 points, [...]

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